University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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 Tonya Amann
Tonya Amann
email:tamann@darkwing.uoregon.edu

Tonya will be entering her 2nd year Fall ’05 and will be maintaining her GTF position with the Student Health Center. During her first year, she worked with both the Student Health Center and Club Sports. Tonya has a special interest in Dance Medicine and has been providing athletic training services to students from the dance department. She is very interested in the career choices made by female athletic trainers after starting a family and is currently investigating this topic for her thesis. Tonya completed her entry level education in athletic training at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

What would you tell an applicant to ensure their expectations about our program were as accurate as possible?

This program is an advanced athletic training program, building off of your undergraduate education. You will learn about some topics to a much greater extent than you did in undergrad and you will also learn entirely new things never touched on in your undergraduate education. There is also a nice addition of discussion-style seminars in which the focus is on sharing ideas and information, instead of a more didactic approach. I really enjoy the expanded knowledge I have received and I absolutely LOVE the new areas Iíve covered. I am growing in so many ways professionally by learning more in depth information about topics in which I am already familiar and by having entirely new knowledge that I had not received in undergrad. This is why I came to grad school!

What insight about graduate school do you now have that you wish you had when you were applying to graduate programs?

Do your research and go with your instincts. Ask EVERY possible question you have before you apply, so you know if the school, program and area will be a good fit for you. If you are looking for particular qualities or opportunities, keep looking until you find them. You donít want to settle on a program or arrive and discover you really hate the town/classes/program, as its hard to turn back and start over again. Donít be afraid to ask questions! I asked a million of them, but I also found the perfect school, program, and town.

What is an accredited post-certification athletic training masters program, and why would anyone want to pursue a graduate athletic training program instead of a graduate degree in another discipline.

This is an advanced athletic training degree. In your undergraduate education, you can only cover so many topics and only to a certain degree. An accredited post-certification athletic training masters program allows you to expand upon that base information and also learn entirely new ideas and techniques. If your realize that you did not learn everything you need to know in the field of sports medicine during your undergrad, then continuing to learn as much as you can about athletic training is an excellent option. Yes, there are masters programs in exercise physiology, bio-mechanics or other areas and they are all wonderful. If you are an athletic trainer that hopes to focus in one of these areas in your practice, then that might be a good option. However, if you want to learn more about your specific field and advance your education, continue with athletic training. There is so much to know and it all isnít crammed into 4 years of undergrad.

Do you believe that as a member of our graduate AT program you have developed important relationships that will provide you with professional or personal support in the future?

As in any situation in which you are able to meet people, you make connections that may help you in the future. Instead of merely meeting someone at a conference, you will work with peers and faculty on a daily basis, forming more meaningful and personal bonds which are much more beneficial than a superficial acquaintance.

Do you believe that you are (or will be) a better athletic trainer because of the academic and/or clinical experiences you are obtaining as a member of this program?

After only 2 terms I am already a better athletic trainer. I have learned new ideas and techniques that I have already used in my practice with patients and athletes, some of which were in areas that I had no prior knowledge. Without some of the amazing courses I have taken, I would not have had any information on certain topics and would have been unable to address the needs of my patients. I look forward to everything else I still have awaiting me in the next 4 terms, as I am sure it will only make me a much better athletic trainer.